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Early next month, a panel of preservationists will select a house in Louisville to be rehabilitated under a new project called Preservation S.O.S.—Save Our Shotguns.

It’s a style of house that symbolizes many of Louisville’s older neighborhoods.

There are many variations, but shotgun houses typically have a long, rectangular floor plan: one room wide, three to five rooms in a row with doorways often on the same side of the house.

One common belief is that the name shotgun house refers to the ability to fire a shotgun cleanly from the front through the back door.

The shotgun style likely made its way into the U.S. from the West Indies and became popular in the South during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, offering affordable housing in working class areas.

In Louisville, they’re a part of the fabric of neighborhoods like Germantown, Butchertown, Smoketown and Portland, but some are showing their age, and Portland in particular has a significant number of houses in distress (top two photos).

“In this area, you’re seeing a lot of blight when it comes to vacant properties, many of which are the shotgun houses, and I think that’s what inspired me to try to come forward and do something and start a program that would really make an impact,” said Marianne Zickhur, executive director of Preservation Louisville, which is spearheading the S.O.S. program. Zickhur grew up in the Portland neighborhood.

Zickhur and says shotguns are popular as starter homes for many young buyers. Others like how their simple design lends itself to fix-up and addition projects. [click to continue…]

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Realtors Hoping for Slight Boost in Sales for Summer

by Gabe Bullard May 30, 2011

Since the recession began, the housing market in Louisville and nationwide has fluctuated significantly from month to month. But local realtors are hoping for a boost in sales this summer. Greater Louisville Association of Realtors president Lamont Breland says warm weather, low interest rates and dropping unemployment can all boost sales, though he’s not expecting […]

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DDC Releases ‘State of Downtown’ Report

by admin April 21, 2011

Comparing Louisville to its competitor cities, the Downtown Development Corporation unveiled the first ever “State of Downtown” report to measure the city’ s benchmarks in a number of key areas. Defined by the 40202 zip code, researchers showed that Louisville had 12 percent increase among downtown workers over the past decade, the largest among peer […]

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First Foreclosed Home Renovated By HUD Sold

by Sheila Ash March 2, 2011

The stimulus money came through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization program. Mayor Greg Fischer says the house is one of several abandoned or foreclosed homes in the city to receive a makeover using federal dollars.

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Kentucky And Indiana Mortgage Delinquencies Remain Above National Average

by Gabe Bullard February 17, 2011

According to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, foreclosures and delinquencies are on the decline nationwide, but they have not dropped enough locally to put either state below the national trend.

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New Houses Coming To Southwest Louisville

by Gabe Bullard December 14, 2010

The new neighborhood will consist of 38 single-family homes and is being developed by the Housing Partnership Inc., a private nonprofit entity. President Mike Hynes says the houses will replace nearby abandoned apartment buildings.

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Economists Say Gradual Recovery Likely For 2011

by Gabe Bullard December 2, 2010

Ken Troske says the country’s gross domestic product is growing, but that may not offer much assurance, since unemployment remains high. As for Americans with jobs, Troske says they are unlikely to start spending again until the housing market improves.

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Grocery Store Coming To Park DuValle

by Gabe Bullard November 23, 2010

Local and federal officials Tuesday broke ground on a new grocery store for the Park DuValle housing development southwest of downtown. The project was funded largely through federal stimulus and housing funds.

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HUD Letter Renews Hope For Museum Plaza Loan

by Gabe Bullard November 4, 2010

The state applied for the loan through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which uses private investments to help finance projects that will benefit multiple communities. Congressman John Yarmuth says he recently received a letter from HUD officials that said they were optimistic the loan could be arranged.

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Ground Broken On New Development Near Liberty Green

by Gabe Bullard October 19, 2010

Federal and local authorities Tuesday broke ground on the first phase of a new mixed-use project called “the EDGE” at Liberty Green.

The EDGE is a mixed-income expansion to the Liberty Green housing development near Liberty and Hancock streets. It will be made up mostly of houses and apartment buildings.

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